The most common thing we see as skin therapists is clients using the wrong cleanser for them. This can create havoc on the skin, making it congested, red, inflamed, super dry and oily all at the same time!

Choosing the right cleanser sets your skin up to allow for absorption of serums and moisturisers.


These are a gel-like consistency and may bubble, but won’t foam up when you add water. They are more gentle than foaming cleansers and will help to lift and remove dirt and grime from the day. Use with a soft wash cloth or sonic brush to help unclog blackheads and remove make up residue. This type of cleanser won’t strip your natural water/oil levels, so you still have a soft feeling after use. Great for congested clients, teenagers, and some sensitive clients can tolerate this.


I’m not a huge fan of foaming cleansers as they normally consist of an ingredient called sodium laurel sulphate (which makes it foam) which is incredibly harsh on the skin. This is what starts most, if not all, of the problems we see come into the spa. Please check your cleanser and its ingredients list.


These are great for dehydrated, dry skin types. They normally consist of really nourishing and hydrating ingredients like shea butter, rose hip oil and hyaluronic acid. These cleansers feel very soft on the skin and are incredibly gentle. I find that you need a cleansing cloth to help remove milk/cream cleanser. Great for winter and really mature skin types, as well as those who have sensitivity like eczema and dermatitis.


A fairly new addition to the cleansing family is oil-based cleansers. These can start off as a balm or straight oil. They contain coconut oil, jojoba or almond oil. I love these as a pre-cleanse to remove any makeup. Oil sticks to oil, so these styles of cleansers make your makeup just slide right off.


Another fairly new introduction into the cleansing world, this is great for helping to remove makeup, dirt and grime from the day, before using your cleanser in the shower. Make sure your micellar does not contain an ingredient called polyaminopropyl biguanide. Also known as polyhexamethylene biguanide, or PHMB. This is found in a lot of the supermarket brands. This ingredient can leave a film on your skin that causes the skin not to breathe, creating blocked pores, congestion and inflammation – which we see a lot coming into the salon. Micellar is great for the sports person on the go and to do a quick wash off if you’re on the run.

Make Up Wipes

While there are a few brands out there that don’t contain alcohol, these are certainly not our go to for removing make up. They can be incredibly harsh on the skin and cause inflammation almost immediately, making it really hard to apply serums or creams without your skin stinging or burning as a result. Replace your wipes with an oil and cleansing cloth.


Abby is the owner of Serenity Skin Spa in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.